Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Lower
Asian stocks ended broadly lower on Wednesday after tech stocks led a sell-off on Wall Street overnight on jitters over inflation and signs of slowing economic growth.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 65.92 points, or 1.8 percent, to 3,536.29 as investors looked ahead to the release of the manufacturing, non-manufacturing and Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes on Thursday.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 163.11 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,663.50 as cash-strapped China Evergrande unveiled plans to sell its 19.93 percent stake in Shengjing Bank.
Japanese shares ended sharply lower on concerns about rising bond yields and the U.S. debt-ceiling row. The Nikkei 225 Index plunged 639.67 points, or 2.1 percent, to settle at 29,544.29, while the broader Topix closed 2.1 percent lower at 2,038.29.
Shortly after the closing bell, Fumio Kishida won the ruling party’s leadership vote, setting him on course to become the next prime minister.
High-tech shares faced strong selling pressure, with Screen Holdings, Tokyo Electron and Advantest plummeting 4-6 percent.
Japan Post plunged 5.7 percent amid reports that the government may kick off the process to sell about 950 billion yen ($8.5 billion) shares in the company as early as this week.
Australian markets hit a four-month low as the coronavirus situation in the country, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria, remained a concern.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index ended down 78.90 points, or 1.1 percent, at 7,196.70, while the broader All Ordinaries Index slumped 80.90 points, or 1.1 percent, to 7,500.20.
Tech stocks followed their U.S. peers lower, with Afterpay and Nearmap losing 4-5 percent.
Mineral Resources slumped 5.6 percent and Champion Iron gave up 3.7 percent as iron ore prices declined on the back of power outages in China and lingering concerns over Evergrande’s default.
Meanwhile, gold miners rose across the board, with Silver Lake Resources, Regis Resources and St Barbara climbing 5-7 percent.
Seoul stocks hit a one-month low as tech heavyweights succumbed to heavy selling pressure on concerns over the widening power crunch in China.
The Kospi ended down 37.65 points or 1.2 percent, at 3,060.27 after falling as much as 2.2 percent to its lowest since March 29 earlier in the session.
Samsung Electronics declined 2.4 percent and SK Hynix shed 3.4 percent after Micron Technology Inc., the largest U.S. maker of memory chips, forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectations and warned that shipments for its memory chips were set to dip in the near term.
New Zealand shares ended a tad lower amid mounting concerns over the debt-ceiling impasse in Washington. The benchmark NZX-50 Index dropped 54.59 points, or 0.4 percent, to 13,119.79. Meridian Energy fell 3.4 percent and Contact Energy lost 1.8 percent.
U.S. stocks tumbled overnight as a surge in Treasury yields hit mega-cap technology stocks and weak consumer confidence data stoked worries about the pace of economic growth.
The Dow lost 1.6 percent, while the S&P 500 slumped 2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite plunged 2.8 percent to log their sharpest pullback since May.
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